Several years ago whilst browsing the shelves at some long-forgotten bookstore, I came across a book titled Ten Things Your Teen Will Thank You For . . . Someday. I never bought it but the title stuck with me, and has been food for thought on more than several occasions as I’ve gotten older.
My dad is celebrating a birthday this week, so in the spirit of David Letterman here is my “Thanks, Dad” Top Ten List:
Thanks for sticking it out when things were the toughest. I will never comprehend the darkness that must have surrounded you when mom died. I’ve seen glimpses of the pain, but the journey was yours, and I’m thankful that you hung in there for both of us.
Thanks for not giving up on love. You found a wonderful woman to help raise me. She’s the only mom I’ve ever known. You know how to pick ’em!
Thanks for loving your wife openly and honestly. You both have showed me that love can endure anything when we refuse to quit.
Thanks for letting me hang out with you at work. Whether it was in a truck, on security rounds, in the Scout shop or the chapel, you let me be there, with you.
Thanks for working all those jobs so we could eat well and sleep comfortably. Things didn’t always work out like you planned, but you moved on and wore a genuine smile.
Thanks for enduring The Metal Years.
Thanks for sitting down with me and watching all those Dave Matthews Band DVDs and not being too critical.
Thanks for playing Guitar Hero with the kids. They love spending time with you and miss you when you’re gone.
Thanks for taking me to see the Cubs play. It was a great game, regardless of what you think.
And finally, thanks for these words of advice:
Take time to work – it is the price of success.
Take time to think – it is the source of power.
Take time to play – it is the secret of perpetual youth.
Take time to be friendly – it is the road to happiness.
Take time to dream – it is expanding your horizons.
Take time to look around – the day is too short to be selfish.
Take time to laugh – it is the music of the soul.
Happy birthday Dad.